Jose Hendo

Jose Hendo is a British award-winning eco-sustainable designer/artist of Ugandan origin. She is the founder of the José Hendo brand, based in London, the Bark To The Roots (B2TR) initiative and the R 3 Campaign. She promotes the use of organic, eco-textiles and recycled materials to create unique – often avant-garde – garments, and accessories for both women and men. Jose Hendo challenges the throwaway culture, supports ethical values, and works towards protecting biodiversity, the environment and barkcloth heritage. “Designing clothes now requires an awareness of the impact of the fashion industry on the environment,” says Hendo, “The clothes we wear are a direct expression of our personalities, beliefs and lifestyles.

Therefore the choices we make have a far reaching effect. That is why I say the history of a garment is just as important as its future.” In her desire to get away from fast fashion, ‘sustainable by design’ is her mantra, from material choices and clever cutting, to up-cycling and simplified

production processes. She works extensively with Ugandan barkcloth, the production of which is centuries-old technique. It is considered the oldest cloth made by man and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Material in 2005. As the Mutuba tree regenerates another bark to be harvested every year for up to sixty years and more, this organic cloth that predates the weaving era is the best ambassador for sustainability. In 2014, Jose Hendo launched an initiative called Bark To The Roots (B2TR), which has led to her being connected to one of the communities in Uganda who have preserved the heritage of making barkcloth. In 2016, a major campaign to plant Mutuba (Ficus Natalensis) trees was launched by B2TR to help preserve this heritage and environment.

Furthermore in 2014, impelled by the tragedy of the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh, she launched her R 3 (Reduce Reuse Recycle) Campaign using workshops, talks, and exhibitions to encourage change, calling on all of us, every man, woman and child to save our planet. Museums and institutions which have José Hendo garments in their permanent collections include the British Museum, the National Museum of Scotland, amongst others. Her designs are inspired by a mixture of Hendo’s African heritage and British influence. Barkcloth features in all her collections, used innovatively alongside other eco and organic fabrics. Up-cycling is also a major part of her zero-waste approach. The most important thing in her work is the need to protect biodiversity, the environment, natural resources and barkcloth heritage. R3 Campaign (on main website)

Instagram: @josehendo

Facebook: Jose Hendo – Label

Twitter: @JoseHendo